A new hotel on Florida’s Atlantic coast doesn’t bode well for people hoping to leave work at the office. The 1,000-room Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Fla., open since January, boasts high-tech amenities designed to impress even the most confirmed workaholic.
Each guest room has network ports for high-speed Internet access and private networking, a Web-accessible TV with wireless keyboard services, and two cordless phones?one with speaker capabilities, both with dual lines and voice mail. (Suites have all of the above as well as fax machines that can also copy and print.) The hotel itself has 1,100 data ports, videoconferencing, redundant ISP feeds, an all-fiber gigabit backbone and a five-person IT staff onsite ready to provide technical assistance. There’s also a conference center next door equipped with similar high-tech amenities.
One notable feature of the hotel’s infrastructure is bandwidth-on-demand. “The Internet access that we have to the building is such that we can scale up the bandwidth to whatever incoming groups need,” says Steve Hicks, director of property technology. Hotels needing to ramp up Internet access typically have to install additional lines, he says, something that requires anywhere from 45 to 60 days advance notice. “We bring access in via wireless technology on the roof,” Hicks says. “We can turn up the bandwidth basically overnight.”
Like any resort worth its salt, the Diplomat also boasts a beachside location, four pools, 10 tennis courts, a 30-slip marina and a championship golf course. Of course, with all the high-tech capabilities, it may be hard for some guests to take advantage of the recreational facilities unless they leave their laptop at home.